this is the archive for the ‘in singapore’ category:

haw par villa

haw par villa

haw par villa is a sort of a theme park built in 1937 in singapore by aw boon haw and aw boon par, the inventors of tiger balm (an ailment extremely popular in asia, used to cure all sorts of muscular pains). the extravagant park contains hundreds of statues and dioramas, “depicting scenes from Chinese folklore, legends, history, and illustrating various aspects of Confucianism”. an educational experience.

laughing buddha?

it’s a bit rundown, but still quirky, fun, and with lots to explore. as an highlight, it includes a 60-meter cave which depicts the “10 courts of hell”, the gruesomely detailed fate of those who have fallen in disgrace. christian hell is nothing compared to those who don’t listen to the doctrine of confucius, i tell you. and they have it all explained for you, in explicit nightmare-inducing detail.

for instance, “drug traffickers and addicts” are “tied to red hot copper and grilled”, while “money lenders with exorbitant interest rates” are “thrown into a hill of knives”…

you get the picture. or, if you don’t, you can see a ton more pictures on this flickr set!

it would have been nice to have a chinese person to tell us all the stories behind the statues and scenes, but all in all, a highlight of our stay in singapore. for me, it’s always the quirky places that make the best memories!

here she comes!


another snapshot from the september trip to singapore/malaysia (still catching up on those pictures and stories)…

annoying extras


if we wanted to take pictures of this hindu temple we had to pay a fee (on top of the entrance fee). i dislike extra fees, so i tucked the camera in my bag and only shot this one from the outside.

same thing in the hotel we stayed in hong kong last week. if you want to use the internet, you have to pay an extra fee. compared to the price we were paying for the room, the internet fee was so insignificant, why not just include it in the price? if this was a hostel or cheap hotel, i would understand. there? not so much.

ice cream-sandwich time!

icecream sandwich

lonely planet (aka, the tourists bible) said we should taste the ice cream sandwich in the streets of singapore, and of course, as prompt and faithful tourists, we were eager to try it.

it’s basically a big block of wall’s icecream (or olá for the portuguese readers) between two thin waffles or slices of pink bread. mango and coffee were pretty good, and they even had it in durian flavor… we were not brave enough to try it out but i wonder if the ice cream smells as bad as the fruit (which is actually forbidden in singapore’s metro).

icecream sandwich

the most important meal

breakfast was delicious

every country has its particulars about coffee. singapore coffee? it is different.

the clear coffee mugs of the hawker centers are lined up in shelves, ready to be used. when you look at them you can see a thick white layer sitting on the bottom of the mugs. so we walk up to one of the vendors and say we want some coffee. a chinese lady fetches a couple of these mugs, pours hot coffee on them and hands them over. the white layer persists, mysteriously. we stir our spoon around, until it solves, making the coffee slightly lighter in color. as it turns out, the white layer is condensed milk (i can see my mother grinning in shock, mentally calculating the calories in that) and the coffee is sweet. sounds strange, but it’s not that bad actually, and when in rome…

besides, we found some amazing coconut filled pancakes that go just great with it!